Kaity's Way organization helping to protect girls against violence

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by Brandy Aguilar, Special Projects

azfamily.com

Posted on June 17, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 17 at 10:00 PM

PHOENIX - One in five high school students will be involved in a violent relationship. It’s a number too high for Bobbi Sudberry.

Subberry, a Valley mother, shared her teenage daughter’s tragic story and why it's her mission to save others.

“Let's make a plan about what we're going to do if he rolls up on you and she just looked at me and she said, ‘He's not going to hurt me," Sudberry said.

It's been more than three years since Sudberry's daughter Kaity was murdered by her ex-boyfriend as she walked home from school near 35th avenue and Cactus. Daniel Byrd shot the 17-year-old before turning the gun on himself.

“It was very tumultuous and it became very verbally and emotionally violent and I get this from her journal,” Sudberry said.

According to Sudberry, their relationship started off normal, but changed after Bryd became possessive and jealous.

“Eventually she came to realize that the relationship was not going to work and there we're a lot of things going on his behavior was escalating,” Sudberry said.

It was to the point where he assaulted her daughter twice at school a few weeks before he took her life.
  
“I got a phone call from Phoenix Police department and they told me I needed to go get an order of protection,” Sudberry said. “Daniel had threatened to kill himself and your daughter.”

Sudberry was only able to file an injunction against harassment, because under Arizona State Law at the time, her daughter’s situation didn't meet the criteria necessary to get an order of protection.

“We felt like a family that needed to buckle down and we're going to take care of Kaity,” Sudberry said.”We're going to protect her and this is going to go away.”

Sudberry is now on a mission to protect other young people. She started a nonprofit called "Kaity's Way" to help all children involved in violent relationships.

“81-percent of parents and adults don't realize that teen dating violence is so prevalent,” Sudberry said. “We want people to know there is help out there. There are people out there to help.”

Family friend Danielle McClung believes Kaity's story can help save other lives. The 18-year-old walked away from a relationship in high school after seeing red flags early on.

“If kids hear that, I think they will understand like this could be me,” McClung said.”This could be anyone around me. It could by my friend next to me and I don't know.”

Sudberry said she'll continue to tell Kaity's story in hopes of educating others about teenage dating violence.

“The bottom line is my daughter, I feel paid the ultimate price, but the great thing is she's protecting all others now,” Sudberry said.

In 2009, Kaity's law was passed. It now allows those in dating relationships the same protection under law as those who live with, are married to, blood related or pregnant by an abusive partner.

For more information…

Kaity’s Way Special Event—When: July 23, 2011, Time: 5pm Where: Talking Stick Resort ( 101 & Indian Bend)
CELEBRITIES STEP, AGAINST TEEN DATING VIOLENCE II
The main concept of the event is to have local celebrities, dance in a competition with local dance instructors, similar to Dancing with the Stars. We also plan to have various types of entertainment between sets, such as an Illusionist, various Dance groups, and a Martial Arts exhibition to name a few ideas on the table. Tickets are on sale now! They are $50, which includes, Mix and Mingle hour, Dinner, Show and Dancing. You can get them online by going to http://celebritiesforkaitysway.eventbrite.com/

For more information visit www.kaitysway.org, e-mail kw08@kaitysway.org or call 602-740-2734.

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